Monday, May 6, 2013

Trip to Sequoia National Park

A couple of weeks ago I took three teens with me to explore the largest trees in the world -- here in California in Sequoia National Park.  For those of you who, like me, thought they were the same types of trees, the Sequoia and the Giant Redwood are not the same. Although they are related to the giant coastal redwoods (which are the Tallest trees), the Sequoia trees have more bulk in their trunk and live at high altitudes -- 6,000 to 8,000 feet.

Here's a letter I sent to my family:

Greetings from Sequoia National Park.

It did not take the predicted 6 hours to get here -- it was closer to 8 hours.
We went in and out of quite a few different temperature zones. The roads went from 12 lanes across down to a more normal (to us) 2 lane roads.

Closer to the park, we traveled for about an hour through huge orange groves -- with fallen oranges all over the ground under the trees.  The smell of oranges was wonderful. The girls wanted to get out of the car to gather oranges to eat, but all I could think of was juicy oranges dripping all over the inside of our car -- so I didn't stop.

During the drive we passed from Sea Level up to 8,000 feet.  The John Muir Lodge where we stayed is at 7,000 feet.  The road right by our lodge goes up to Panorama Point where we had a great view of the snow-covered high Serrias 13,000 feet high. (or more, I forget)

The girls went crazy when they started seeing snow and on Thursday, they got to play in piles of snow.
(temps on Thursday were in the 30s and 40s.)
The lodge is quite close to the General Grant tree and its grove of Sequoias.

Friday we traveled down General's Highway to the General Sherman tree -- the largest tree (by bulk) in the world. (pictured above)  Luckily, the sun shone all day and the temperatures got up to almost 60 degrees once we got down to lower altitudes.

Then we went further down the road to Moro peak.  The girls charged right up to the top, but I could only make it halfway.  Even so, I got more great pictures of the snow-covered high Serria Mountains.

Although we couldn't find the tunnel tree on the map, we stumbled onto it while we took the road to Moro.  Score!

Coming back, we took a side trip to Hume Lake.  By this time the girls were tired of sightseeing from inside a car, so they jumped out and ran down to the lake's edge to explore. They want to return here and spend more time at that lake. Today's trip took from 10:30 in the morning to 5:00 in the evening.

Unfortunately we had to leave on Saturday to come back home -- Spring vacation was almost over and they had to go back to school on Monday.

The driver (me) stopped more often on the return trip -- to stretch her legs and to let the girls run off excess energy and get snacks.  At one stop we suddenly discovered we were at a Micky D's right on the edge of Disneyland!  (Ah Ha!  Now I know how to get there from San Diego.)

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